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When Lucille Ball was just starting out, she rented a home in West Hollywood where she lived with her brother, mother and grandfather.
The home’s 1,874 square feet include 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, with hardwood floors, crown molding and cozy spots for relaxing. A living room with a wall of windows and a fireplace flows into a dining room where Lucy may have sat at the table practicing lines for her early films.
The updated kitchen features a breakfast nook and French doors that open onto a back deck with a hot tub.
Located near the studios where Lucy first worked, the property boasts avocado and lemon trees for an extra burst of California goodness.
The listing agent is Rhonda Kohn of Keller Williams Realty.
Photos by AcmeStudios.
The fascination with celebrity homes is nothing new. Star maps have been around for years:
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Every bit of breeze makes a difference in the heat of summer. A ceiling fan can not only increase your personal comfort but also reduce your monthly utility costs by supplementing (or even substituting for) your hardworking air conditioning unit.
To reap the full benefits of your room’s soon-to-be new addition, you need to know how to pick and place a winner. Getting answers to these questions before you select a ceiling fan will help match you to a model that will meet all of your needs.
What size fan do I need?
The number and length of blades on a ceiling fan determine how much air the fan can move. For an average size bedroom of approximately 12 feet by 12 feet, a standard four-blade fan with a blade span of 42 inches is adequate.
For larger rooms, opt for a wider and longer blade, such as a 52-inch span, to provide better air flow.
Standard ceiling fans consist of four blades, but some models feature five or even six – more blades means greater air movement. If you want increased circulation without having to buy a larger (and likely pricier) fan, look for a fan with five or more blades that’s still in your budget.
How low should the fan hang from the ceiling?
You want at least 7 feet of clearance from the floor to the fan blades.
Of course, ceilings vary in heights and styles, so the same ceiling fan that works in a vaulted room will hang too low in a room with an 8-foot-high ceiling.
Fortunately, fan manufacturers accommodate the wide range of room heights by creating two basic configurations: standard and ceiling-hugger models.
- The standard model features a 6- or 8-inch-long downrod that extends from the fan’s ceiling bracket to the top of the motor housing – perfect for ceilings that are 8 feet high or so. Higher ceilings might require additional extension rods to lower the fan to a more useful height.
- For lower ceiling heights, a ceiling-hugger or flush-mount model holds the fan closer to the ceiling in order to provide adequate head clearance.
Check the box for the listed “installed distance,” or the amount of space between the ceiling and the blades. This will help you determine the remaining clearance beneath the fan.
How much do I want to save on utility bills?
If lowering utility costs is a leading reason for installing a ceiling fan, select a model that bears an Energy Star label. These products feature motors that operate 60 percent more efficiently than conventional units, which could save you more than $15 a year on utility bills.
These models also include the functionality to switch blade directions when the seasons change (i.e., counterclockwise in summer for a comfortable breeze, and clockwise in the winter to force heat from along the ceiling downward into the living area).
Do I want an overhead light?
Just because the box for a ceiling fan depicts a product complete with lights doesn’t mean that a light kit comes included.
Unless the packaging specifies that the unit is a combination fan-and-light, you’ll probably have to purchase a light kit separately. Along the same lines, if the box shows only a fan, that particular model might not accept a light kit. Read the fine print before buying.
How do I install a ceiling fan?
A DIY installation may or may not be simple or possible, depending on where you live. In many communities, a handy homeowner can legally hang a ceiling fan in his or her own home.
However, some cities require an electrical permit or even that a licensed electrician do the work. Be sure to check with your local building authority before starting.
Got the go-ahead? You’ll find a wiring diagram, wiring instructions, and fan assembly instructions in the box to guide you. Replacing a light fixture or older ceiling fan with a new model will use existing wiring.
If you’re introducing a new ceiling fan where there wasn’t one before, know that you’ll need to cut through walls and/or ceilings to add the necessary wiring – an extra complication which may persuade you to hire a professional.
Large, heavy fans may require additional support blocking in the ceiling joists in order to hold their weight.
Will the fan rattle?
When installed correctly, it’s rare for a modern ceiling fan to wobble. But that’s not to say it never happens.
If your fan starts to shake as it spins, a balancing kit complete with clips and weights is a quick fix. Your model may have even included one for future use. Otherwise, you can pick one up wherever you bought the fan for about $5.
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Now that he’s officially retired from the summer games, Michael Phelps is joining the snowbirds with a mansion of his own in Scottsdale, AZ, a place known more for its golf courses than its pools. The human fish had been training at nearby Arizona State University, TMZ reports, and plans to coach there.
Phelps paid a stroke over $2.5 million for the 6,000-square-foot home, which sits on nearly an acre and has 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths and 4 fireplaces, including one in the master suite and one in the backyard loggia.
The home’s pool is gorgeous, with views of Camelback Mountain. It’s not big enough to fully show off your butterfly, but it’s perfect for cooling off with the family, which Phelps has already posted photos of on Instagram.
Crafted with European stone and imported hardwood floors, the home boasts a kitchen the size of some bungalows, with an eat-in marble center island and coffered ceilings with skylights. If you’d rather lounge while you nosh, there’s a cozy sitting area just a few feet away, with a fireplace for toasting up on a winter evening or following a long swim.
The formal dining room shares a chimney with the living room, all of which open onto a backyard built for entertainment. Alongside the pool is a hot tub, plus an outdoor shower and barbecue.
The listing agent was Walt Danley of Walt Danley Realty.
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Amid trade rumors, Los Angeles Clippers superstar point guard Chris Paul is reportedly putting his Bel-Air home on the market for $11.495 million.
The home has quite a storied celebrity past. Paul purchased it from pop star Avril Lavigne in 2012, and it was previously owned by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, whose reality show “Meet the Barkers” was partly filmed in the home.
The Mediterranean-style home in the highly coveted Bel-Air Crest has over 12,000 square feet, with 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
Equipped for California indoor-outdoor living with unbelievable canyon views from a dream backyard, the home offers a covered outdoor entertaining area, kitchen, barbecue station, and pool.
The luxury continues inside, with a 10-car garage perfect for the avid car enthusiast, a wine cellar with storage for up to 500 bottles for the esteemed collector, and plenty of entertainment options, including a 12-seat home theater, billiards room, and gym with sauna.
The home also includes a commercial elevator, Creston sound automation and a camera system.
Guests enter the home through a two-story foyer flooded with natural light and anchored by a grand staircase.
The living space is open concept, boasting a chef’s kitchen with a large center island for prepping, and bar space with seating for the whole family. The adjacent dining and den spaces provide plenty of room for entertaining a crowd.
The master bedroom is a retreat for the homeowner, with a sitting room, his-and-hers closets and baths, a private balcony, a kitchenette, and a fireplace.
The home’s listing agent is Ikem Tan with Westside Premier Estates.
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The original owner of this 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom, 10,050-square-foot home had already spent about $8 million building it when his son sent him a photo of a lazy river at the Hawaii hotel where he was staying. Enchanted and determined to build one himself, the owner took out an additional $2-million loan – which he then defaulted on.
That is how the current owner, who lives in Hong Kong, was able to purchase the foreclosed property as an investment for just $2.7 million. After completing construction on the lazy river, he’s now selling the Boulder City, NV property for $8 million.
Listing agent Leo Mendoza of Keller Williams Realty predicts that the next owner will be a celebrity (he’s already shown the home to several familiar names). Word on the street is that Justin Timberlake was interested when the home initially went on the market.
“It’s a very unique property,” says Mendoza. “I get calls all the time to record reality shows, but [the association] doesn’t allow short-term rentals.” The house will, however, be featured on an HGTV program called Amazing Water Homes.
Obviously, the lazy river – which holds 75,000 gallons of water and requires 25 pumps to run – is the star attraction, but there’s plenty to make this property noteworthy. The swimming pool holds 45,000 gallons of water and features a 20-foot diving pool. There’s a tennis court, two putting greens, a wine cellar, and a 10-car garage. It has pretty much every in-home amenity you can think of.
Mendoza says the Boulder City location is ideal. There is an area nearby, he says, where “bighorns come down to eat grass, and you can get so close to them, you can feed them.” The city, which was originally constructed for the people who built the nearby Hoover Dam, is just 26 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
“This is probably the most expensive home in Boulder City,” says Mendoza. “I’ve seen a lot of properties in Boulder City, and there’s nothing like this house.”
Photos by John Martorano Photography.
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When we look for a flip house for our real estate investing business, Tarek and I basically go through the same thought process that anyone goes through when they buy an investment property.
Even though we’re working on a shorter timeline than most homeowners, the journey is essentially the same.
Understanding our thoughts as we go through each step of the process might give you a clearer road map for your own fixer-upper journey, or it might inspire you to test the waters of real estate investing yourself.
Finding a great deal on a property
If you’re looking for a really great deal on a fixer-upper house, you’re going to be searching for a diamond in the rough, and that’s exactly what we do.
We drive around the neighborhoods where we’re most likely to find great flip houses. We search through the MLS. We take a look at listing sites like Zillow.
We basically search high and low, and as we find potential deals, we start doing research on them, just like you would with your home purchase.
There’s something really special about finding a truly great house-flipping opportunity, and it always gets me a bit excited and a touch nervous at the same time.
I don’t want to fall in love with a house before the seller accepts the offer. Yet, at the same time, I can’t help but think about how we’ll be helping someone get out from under a financial burden, and then benefiting the whole neighborhood with quality rehab work.
The rush when a seller accepts your offer
After we find a house that has the potential to be a really fabulous flip property, we make the offer and hold our breath.
When the seller accepts the offer, I get a real rush! I immediately start thinking about when we can get inside, look at what the house needs, and get to work.
Before long, I have visions of beautiful design work floating through my head. In some ways, this is my favorite part of flipping a house, because it seems like the sky is the limit.
I think of everything I’d want to do to it if I had the money, but then – just like if I were buying a fixer-upper to move into – I have to bring myself back down to earth and remember our budget.
And that leads to one of the scariest parts of house flipping or buying a fixer-upper.
The fear when your contractor tells you …
Whether it’s a whole new roof, new electrical wiring, new plumbing, or any other major project, when one of our contractors tells me that they need to do a really expensive job that we didn’t budget for when we bought the house, I get a little bit scared.
Before I know it, numbers are running through my head, and I have to take a step back and think about how much of the budget is going to be taken up by this surprise.
Then, as I get things in perspective, I look for places where we can save money and places where we can still splurge some to get the best results possible.
Sometimes you have to go a little bit over budget to get the job done, but as long as you don’t eat up your entire margin, you’ll be fine.
For Tarek and me, this is a matter of how much money we can make on a house flip. For a home buyer, it’s a matter of how long renovations are going to take, when you can move in, and what needs to wait.
In either case, we’re looking at some financial challenges, but they shouldn’t be impossible to work around.
Deciding where to spend and where to save
Some of our house flips are in neighborhoods where you absolutely need real hardwood floors and marble countertops. In other areas, we can get away with high-quality laminate floors and quartz or another less expensive countertop material.
Whatever the case, I never use materials or appliances that I wouldn’t be happy with in my own home.
That doesn’t mean that I splurge on every little thing, though. I look at the places where a less expensive option will still create a beautiful finished product, and I go with those.
I also prioritize some rooms over others. For example, as you start your renovations, are you going to want to redo the kitchen and master bath first, or will the guest bedroom and living room take precedence?
Kitchens and bathrooms are the easiest places to make upgrades and create luxurious settings for home buyers. That’s why I recommend doing these spaces first for your fixer-upper, just like we prioritize them for our flip houses.
Watching it all come together
After we’ve figured out the budget and worked out what needs to be done with our contractor, it’s time to watch it all come together. In a surprisingly short time, we get to watch a distressed property transform into a beautiful, totally livable home.
It might take a little bit longer for you to do all of the work on your own home, but the process is the same, and it’s really satisfying to watch your plans become reality.
Selling a house to excited buyers
We sell our houses right after we rehab them and you might live in yours for years, but, again, the outcome is the same.
After we put a lot of hard work and energy into a flip house, we get to sell it to an individual, couple, or family, and they’re always really excited to move in.
We get to see their dreams come true as they buy their first house or their next house. When you sell your fixer-upper, it’ll be your buyer’s dream house, too.
When you look at it this way, house flippers and fixer-upper homeowners can learn a lot from each other!
Lead photo courtesy of Zillow Digs.
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